Winning is nothing new for Serena Williams, but now it’s just a little bit sweeter.
With a 6-2 6-3 victory over Yaroslava Shvedov at the 2016 US Open, Serena Williams set a new Grand Slam record of 308 victories, to pass Roger Federer in the all-time list of matches won at the tennis majors.
Now, 40, a wife and mother of a beautiful little girl, Serena’s path was written for her a long time ago.
At 11 years old, when Serena Williams was asked “If you were a tennis player who would you want to be like?” Serena responded: “Well, I’d like other people to be like me.”
Bold for it coming from an 11 year old, huh? Well, in order to be champion, you’ve got to be bold.
That’s the legacy of Serena Williams starting to take shape. In many people’s opinion, its their mental strength that helped propel them into stardom. Their father, Richard Williams, constantly spoke them up to in front of others as well as at home. He always spoke to them as champions, even before their first tournament. But by age 11, Serena’s sister Venus was already a champion, and Serena herself had won 50 of 52 junior championships.
It was the mental wear and tear that prompted Richard to pull his daughters out of competition early on when the family moved to Florida. “These girls aren’t ready, mentally or physically. It’s too hard on the family,” Richard said. “Bringing the girls out later in their life will be better for our family, for the girls and for tennis.”
“Venus wants to win Wimbledon and Serena wants to win the U.S. Open,” Richard said. “And they will.”
And now look at both of them. Both Venus and Serena made history and in 2015, Serena is about to make history again after winning at Wimbledon again and heading to the U.S. Open.